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Holy Rule for Dec. 12

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers for the eternal rest of Ken, who passed away after several years of suffering, and for his spouse and family as they move forward with faith.
    Message 1 of 59 , Dec 11, 2012

      Prayers for the eternal rest of Ken, who passed away after several years of suffering, and for his spouse and family as they move forward with faith.

      Prayers, please, for the spiritual, phyiscal and temporal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

      Owen, has an interview that is important.

      Bob, had surgery.

      Elaine, extensive surgery to try to control her cancer. She has other serious health problems so will need lots of prayers.

      Siobhan and her parents, they have home health aides 24/7, but not sure how long they can keep up with the expense, and they have some adjustments to make.

      Em and Don, failing in health, living alone and insisting on remaining such; that they realize they are alienating those who love them, and that they both could use help.

      Fred, dealing with serious repercussions of surgery for oral cancer. The biggest problem is an enormously long blood clot in his leg, which doctors aren't sure how to treat. Please also include in your prayers his wife, Leslie.

      Tom, on his birthday, many more ad multos annos.

      Lord help us all as You know and will. God's will is best. All is
      mercy and grace. God is never absent, praise Him! Thanks so much. JL

      April 12, August 12, December 12
      Chapter 58: On the Manner of Receiving Sisters

      When she is to be received she promises before all in the oratory
      stability, fidelity to monastic life and obedience. This promise
      she shall make before God and His Saints,
      so that if she should ever act otherwise, she may know that she
      will be condemned by Him whom she mocks. Of this promise of hers
      let her draw up a document in the name of the Saints whose relics
      are there and of the Abbess who is present. Let her write this
      document with her own hand; or if she is illiterate, let another
      write it at her request,
      and let the novice put her mark to it. Then let her place it with
      her own hand upon the altar;
      and when she has placed it there, let the novice at once intone
      this verse: "Receive me, O Lord, according to Your word, and I
      shall live: and let me not be confounded in my hope" (Ps. 118
      [119]:116). Let the whole community answer this verse three times
      and add the "Glory be to the Father." Then let the novice prostrate
      herself at each one's feet,
      that they may pray for her. And from that day forward let her be
      counted as one of the community.

      If she has any property, let her either give it beforehand to the
      poor or by solemn donation bestow it on the monastery, reserving
      nothing at all for herself, as indeed she knows that from that day
      forward she will no longer have power even over her own body. At
      once, therefore, in the oratory, let her be divested of her own
      clothes which she is wearing
      and dressed in the clothes of the monastery. But let the clothes of
      which she was divested
      be put aside in the wardrobe and kept there. Then if she should
      ever listen to the persuasions of the devil and decide to leave the
      monastery (which God forbid), she may be divested of the monastic
      clothes and cast out. Her document, however, which the Abbess has
      taken from the altar, shall not be returned to her, but shall be
      kept in the monastery.


      The Church approves religious rules. This is the basis for
      asserting that our Holy Rule is inspired by the Holy Spirit,
      because the Church gave its seal of approval. The Church, however,
      is indubitably older and often wiser than monastic life. It predates every
      form of optional religious commitment. It is the blessing of the Church
      which makes official monastic life possible for any and all of us.

      This is just a prelude to saying that the wisdom of the Church long
      ago stopped people from making solemn vows, a life-long commitment
      difficult to break, right out of novitiate. Not only does this
      longer program protect people, to a certain extent, from making a
      mistake, it also spares the monastery from having a lot of
      undesirables with chapter votes running the show. There are
      some I have known who left in simple vows for whose exit I remain
      eternally grateful! Thanks be to God that they were never chapter
      members with votes. What a zoo that would have been!

      A year may well have been enough in St. Benedict's time. People had
      vastly shorter life spans, it was a bigger chunk of their lives.
      They also had to grow up more quickly and their options were fewer
      by far than those of our own day.

      Oblates, therefore, can garner a few kernels of truth in this
      chapter about commitment, that bugbear of the baby boomer
      generation and beyond. Modern people find it terribly hard to
      commit, some never manage it at all. As such, a bit of wisdom older
      than our own age may be very useful in our everyday lives.

      Benedictines are not people afraid of commitment, but we live in a
      world where many are. Our witness here must be care and balance. We
      must resolutely walk BETWEEN the extremes of foolhardy haste and
      crippling fear. In the world of today, that is no small witness and
      no easy task. Pull this one off, and you have a done a service to
      many, not just to yourself!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Happy and blessed Thanksgiving Day to all in the US who are celebrating today. God be thanked for His many blessings to us all. Prayers for all and
      Message 59 of 59 , Nov 23, 2016



        Happy and blessed Thanksgiving Day to all in the US who are celebrating today. God be thanked for His many blessings to us all. Prayers for all and especially for the safety of those travelling.


        Prayers for Cas, who has gastrointestinal cancer. Prayers, too, for Bev, his wife, and Gabrielle, their daughter. Bev is a classmate of mine from Tampa Catholic High.


        Prayers for Fr. Benedict Nivakoff, OSB, newly appointed Prior of the Benedictine community at Norcia, Italy, and continued prayers for them as they recover from the catastrophic damage the earthquake did to their monastery and basilica.


        Prayers for Christopher, 13, in hospice care at home with brain cancer and thought to be very close to death. Prayers for his family, too, and for all who will mourn him.


        Prayers for Daniel, had an injection for knee pain, knee reduced to bone on bone and will eventually need a replacement.


        Prayers for the eternal rest of Greg, and for all his family and all who mourn him.

        Prayers for the eternal rest of Stella, 92, a Benedictine Oblate, and prayers for her family and all who mourn her.


        Prayers for B., for her return to the Faith.


        Lord, help us all as You know and will. God's will is best. All is mercy and
        grace. God is never absent, praise Him! Thanks so much. JL

        March 25, July 25, November 24
        Chapter 45: On Those Who Make Mistakes in the Oratory

        When anyone has made a mistake
        while reciting a Psalm, a responsory,
        an antiphon or a lesson,
        if he does not humble himself there before all
        by making a satisfaction,
        let him undergo a greater punishment
        because he would not correct by humility
        what he did wrong through carelessness.

        But boys for such faults shall be whipped.


        Calm down, we don't whip anybody anymore. It has too often been my
        experience that such lines push all the buttons of some readers these
        days and blind them to the rest of the good stuff there. We don't
        whip now, they did 1,500 years ago, everyone else did, too. Let's not
        get so mired in the sensitivities of our own time that we forget how
        terribly recent some of them are.

        As I have mentioned before, in our house we do kneel in the center
        when late for choir, then bow to the superior and go to our
        place. We also kneel when we make audible mistakes in Church. And
        yes, those things, as I pointed out, can be very useful.

        But most Oblates do not have a choir to kneel in, so
        what's here for the majority of us? There is the grace of humility,
        without which communal life on any level, in monastery, workplace, market or
        home would be unlivable.

        Every single human community or whatever sort is going to have its
        share of kinks, strays and crosses. Every one without fail
        will mirror in some sense the fallen brokenness of humanity. The
        gamut of human flaws exists in microcosm, in at least some mitigated form,
        in every human group.

        Even more annoyingly, most, if not all, pieces of our OWN broken
        humanity will be modeled, much to our distaste, by others around us. It is,
        alas, our own sins and faults in others that tend to annoy us most. Never
        forget to check for that. He or she may REALLY tick you off because
        of the great similarities between you!

        Our job is to see to it that we are part of the solution, not part
        of the problem. When, through whatever means, we become part of the problem,
        we must own up to it at once and smooth it over as best and as
        quickly as we can.

        If you can't say "I'm sorry," for heaven's sake- quite literally- start
        practicing alone in front of a mirror until the words can somehow
        tumble out in public. Until they can, try some useful (though not
        perfect,) substitutes, like "Excuse me," or "It was my fault." Work
        on words of forgiveness, too, like: "It doesn't matter," or "Oh,
        that's OK,".

        Strive to make light of things. There will never be any
        shortage whatever of people who will explode and magnify things out
        of all rational proportion, so don't duplicate services! Join the
        minority and try to prevent hurricanes in teacups, rather than
        produce them.

        Most outrage, most lack of apology, most tempests in teacups stem
        from a distorted an unhealthy view of the self. Humility corrects
        that imbalance. While you're in front of the mirror practicing
        apology, why not try a bit of self-interview?

        WHY do these things or persons upset you so? What do you have in
        common with those who annoy you most? Most important, just who the
        heck ARE you that your perceived slights are such a big deal? Try
        reminding yourself that He is God and you are not. Honest reflection on these
        points may be a big and promising start.

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome, OSB
        Petersham, MA




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